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2013 Nominations Are Out! Wait, Does Anyone Care About The Oscars Anymore?

My Oscar-worshipping days started in 2010.

Prior to this, I didn’t find movie watching very appealing — it felt like a waste of time. But upon entering college and being surrounded by film majors, I quickly realized I was watching the wrong ones. Friends introduced me to thought-provoking films, which I warmly embraced. I was glad to look at movies in a new light and move away from the  mindless junk that I used to watch.

With that, film majors love the Oscars — and so I became interested, too. In 2010, I joined my friends in making a point of seeing as many movies nominated for best picture as possible. I ended up seeing seven of the ten nominated movies, but didn’t quite get the hype over Up in the Air, and I thought The Blind Side’s nomination must have been a mistake. I was also deeply disappointed that one of the best movies I’ve seen in years, 500 Days of Summer, didn’t even get nominated.

But I brushed my Oscar-doubts aside. The Academy knows better than I do, I was made to believe.

For the 2011 Oscars, I saw eight out of the ten best picture nominated movies, and thought, these are okay.But none really outshone the movies I was seeing at the independent theater downtown, and I was upset, again, that Blue Valentine,such a raw, moving movie didn’t receive a nomination. And the great foreign films I saw were disregarded, too, as well as disrespected (Why are they in a separate category? But those perhaps “American enough” like The King’s Speechcan get nominated in the Best Picture category?).

But I did it again. Last year, I saw allof the nine really mediocre Oscar-nominated movies, including the dreadfully boring flick, The Descendants.How did the Oscars claim that these were the best movies made the entire year? Where were Melancholia and the other amazing films I saw that year?

The 2013 Oscar nominations were released today; but I won’t be falling for their trap again. Just seeing Silver Linings Playbook(yes, I got sucked into seeing this cheesy rom-com) get a best picture nomination (and not Take This Waltz, Sleepwalk With Me,or Perks of Being a Wallflower) confirms my realization: the Academy doesn’t necessarily know better than I do.

And so the Oscars should be seen as a list of movie suggestions, not a bible. Frankly, I am ecstatic about my favorite movie this year, Beasts of the Southern Wild, receiving a nominatation — which I hope encourages more people see it. And Amour’s nomination has re-sparked my interest in seeing the film. But I won’t be sitting through Zero Dark Thirtyor Django Unchained.

It’s upsetting enough that life is not long enough to watch every movie you want. And I, unfortunately, had such a late start. So from now on, I will (and I encourage you) to choose wisely and personally. View a trailer, read a review — and if you think a movie is going to do something for you — watch it.  Don’t worry about the popularity contest that is the Oscars.

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